With summer in full force you may think its time to pack up the skis and call it a season. But that’s not what we all do, a select few choose to earn turn all throughout the year even in the hottest of summer months.
Here are some of my top summer skiing adventures!
September 27, 2020 The temperate drops just low enough to have a chance at skiing powder if I hike high enough, I waste no time to packing up and getting ready to head out.
It took right about 8 miles of hiking and around 5,000 ft of vert to get to the snow patches that stay year round and this means you can fully take advantage of the new snow on top!
That right there is the face of pure joy after not having skied anything but slushy ice in 5 months.
It only ended up being 2 inches or so but I couldn’t be more stoked.
High in the Mountains of Wyoming there is a small resort that opens up just for a handful of weeks a year.
This year is the first I have been able to actually ride the lift, but it was such a treat not having to hike for those slushy turns.
The Basin also has some amazing terrain right near it that is always worth the trip!
Solo at Sunrise
This was one of my first solo hikes, I went all in and was not disappointed!
Waking up at right around 4 am, I wanted to get to the summit of the peak that hosts my line by sunrise.
While I didn’t quite make it to the summit, I wouldn’t trade that sunrise for anything.
I saw some of my favorite views on that morning and that just might be one of the key hikes that got me hooked on this whole summer skiing thing.
Maybe it’s not about the skiing
Maybe its just and excuse to get out there and see new places every month. Either way I am on month 40 of skiing right now and I have no plans to stop any time soon!
Like most of the best trips, it started with a simple message.
This was no small mission, we were attempting to ski one of the ’50 Classic Ski Descents of North America’ – The Skillet.
The crew of this mission consisted of Chris Burton, the Jackson Hole local that had the dream for this line
Katie Burton, Chris’s sister, always down for an adventure.
Benjamin Flook, Montana local coming down to ski the line of a lifetime
And me, the photographer. Also making the trek down from Montana
After a month of keeping an eye on the weather we finally found our window and it was time to pack up.
Two hours into packing I felt pretty good about having everything. It seems like you never feel like you have everything on these big missions, but it was time to start driving.
Ben and I had a 4.5 hour drive ahead of us and we wasted no time in it to get over to Jackson, WY as soon as possible so we could get some sleep in before the big day.
As we got into Teton National Park we could start to see our line, and that is when the reality of the whole thing set in…
We were going to be skiing that
Since we were going to be skiing this line in June it was warm enough to boat across Jackson lake and hike from pretty much the base.
The boat of choice was a sail boat
This was Ben and I’s first experience on a sail boat and a pretty rad one at that. But it defiantly took some getting used to coming from a state with just mountains.
With the wind pushing us along and Mt. Moran ahead we took this time to relax and mentally prepare for the long night ahead.
It only took right around two hours for us to arrive at the beach right were we would start hiking.
From there all we had to do was pack our bags and eat dinner before we began the long hike.
This hike was tough from the start, with a 9:30 pm start we hoped to summit right at sunrise just in time for the snow to soften a bit for the ski down.
That was the plan at least. After traversing for an hour to get around a cliff, then walking up a boulder field with bus size boulders in the dark we finally took a moment to reassess the situation and think about the reasonability of what’s ahead.
At 2:15 in the morning, not being able to find a way around the next boulder in the dark and being behind schedule to hike up in reasonable snow we made the hard decision to call it a night on the semi-flat boulder we were on. We didn’t pack sleeping bags so we just put on all the layers we could and found a comfy spot on the rock.
It’s never fun to have to make the call to turn around. But in some situations it really does save a life. The snow would have been too warm while we hiked up, on top of that the boulder field of an approach before the glacier was taking far too long to navigate safely in the dark which only made the situation worse.
On the bright side, we did get to wake up to a stunning and very unique sunrise with Jackson lake below us.
And we didn’t let the trip be a total defeat. We managed to find a couple large snow patches around for us to take a shred on and get our June turns checked off.
And just like that it was time to head back down to the boat.
The down hike was significantly better being able to see and now knowing how to get around the massive cliff below.
And luckily it wasn’t very eventful either. We just trudged right the way down
Seeing the boat on the shore line after hours of hiking was one of the best feeling ever
All in all I would and probably will do it all again, all except the not making it up part.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all
– Helen Keller
This week I’m going to take a quick break from talking about my big winter trip and talk about a more recent even that happened just last weekend.
If you’ve never been to the Beartooth Pass let this be your alarm saying its time to pack up and go, especially if your a skier.
Friday June 4, its 8:30pm and our crew of 5 that was supposed to set off about three hours ago, we still have that same three hour drive ahead of us.
Luckily not much later we manage to pack up and knock out the drive.
We arrive just before midnight with snow fields ahead of us and the stars above us.
The next day we have planned out to ski one of the few resorts still open in the northern hemisphere, Beartooth Basin.
With stoke high and adrenaline higher we get right to the skiing.
Lapping everything from slushy snake turns to cornices and cliffs.
After our legs couldn’t take it anymore we set off to go and find a spot to eat some dinner and call it a night
Day 2, We waste no time on day two and get right after it. The night before we had an incredible vision for a jump we have all been wanting to build for years.
A Tunnel Jump!
After many hours of shoveling and a few sunburns we finally had it complete and ready to hit.
As a photographer I had a lot of pressure to be able to capture everything that was going on in this special moment, and in the end I think I was actually able to do it.
The light, the skier, the snow, It all lined up for me to get the dream shot.
After that sesh we had to get back to the valley for work the next day! What an amazing trip that I will defiantly be thinking about all summer as the days quickly get to warmer and the snow becomes thinner.
After one too many frigid nights in steamboat springs I decided I had to move on to my next ski destination which was Eldora, Colorado.
Eldora was almost the polar opposite of steamboat, going from a rich ski town with huge hotels all over to a humble ski resort tucked into the back hills of Colorado.
It only took one day of pure ice skiing up at the resort till I knew I had to find other ways to pass the time up there
Lucky for me it only took a bit of searching to find a really cool spot in the woods I had all to myself for the next couple nights
The next thing I needed to find was wifi and power to work on my photos. This quest me lead to a really cool coffee shop built into an old box car. I spent many hours in there
In all reality that is pretty much all that happened in Eldora, with the skiing too miserable to justify and a nice coffee shop to catch up on my Jackson Hole photos, I just spent my days there camping in the woods and working out of a coffee shop.